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Carmes de Paris

Carmes de Paris in Advent 2019 with Saint Joseph

Post #2First released on December 1, 2019

Adjust your wait (week 1)

Adjust your wait (week 1)

The Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Mark (13, 33-37)

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples : "Take care, watch and pray because you do not know when the time is .It is like a man taking a far journey, who left his house, he gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work , and commanded he porter to watch. 

Watch therefore ,you do not know when the master of the house comes, in the evening or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing or in the morning. Lest coming suddenly he finds you sleeping .. What I say to you there, I say to all: take care!"

I - Commentary: The Three Comings of Christ

If we have to watch, it is of course because someone comes : the Messiah announces his coming.

He came; He comes and He will come. These are the three certainties that we will find, variously braided, in all the liturgies of this Advent time. It is important to understand them well, in order to be able to wait for the Lord adequately and not miss the encounter with God.


He tore up the heavens, and he came down, Him, the own Son of God. He banned all distance between the Creator and the created men, taking flesh from the flesh of Marie; and he has crossed through the screen of our sin to make us hear his voice from within, within us. It is thus, said the prophet, that God acts towards the man who hopes in him. He comes to meet the one who "practices righteousness" in the biblical sense (which we specify below) and who remembers the voice of the Lord, that is to say the ways He likes to see us take.


He comes every day to us, offering his friendship, his Body and his Blood, and all the wealths of which St. Paul speaks about to the Christians of Corinth, all those of the knowledge of God. He comes to us first and foremost through his Spirit who is given to us, to know the gifts that God has given us, all those marvels of delicacy and redeeming love which are enclosed in the heart of God and which gradually transfigure our own heart.

He came in humility
He comes in intimacy

He will come in his Glory

And what is glory, for the resurected  Jesus ? It is the unspeakable mystery of his unity with the Father, the density of life and happiness that he has in common with the Father, and the brilliance of his holiness Son, unbearable for our fleshly eyes.

St. Paul said also that we were waiting for seeing Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed. With all the strength of our hope, we are looking for the day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The day of the Great Unveiling, the great surprise, where a new look will be given to us to at last  see in Jesus Christ what he has always been ... to admire and adore eternally the Glory of God on the Face of the Risen One.

This day will come; God promised ; and He is trustworthey. He called us to live in communion with his Son. What keeps us awake is fidelity, the long resistant love, not altered with age, Jesus tells us "Watch", and when HE will come, for all of us and for each of us, He wants to get the joy of telling to us: "That's nice; you were waiting for me ! "

II - Meditation: to watch on, with " Joseph the Just"

To soak up ourselves in the vigilance inherent to Advent, let us continue to look at Joseph. He shared with Marie as witness,  the secret coming of God. How did he prepare for it ? By practicing justice, becoming fair, But what does it mean to be fair?

In the Old Testament and often in the New Testament, to be fair is to be adjusted to the will of God;  it is in a way, holiness in everyday life; and that sums up Joseph's life well. The episode in which the Gospel describes him as "fair" is his discovery that Marie is pregnant (Mt 1,18-25) :

18, Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Marie was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. 

19, Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. 

20, But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Marie thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. 

21, And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. 

22, Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying;

23, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 

24, And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife. 

25, And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS,  

When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him : he went back with his spouse, but he did not unite with her until she gave birth to a son, named JESUS. A shadow has tarnished the Joseph's happiness. From now and forever. Marie is lost for him: he will be alone, and she will too, All of this is so unexpected, so mysterious and so incredible that Joseph does not know what to do; but it is there that his holiness and his spiritual wisdom appear in full light. It is there that he reacts as a fair man, fully adjusted to the will of God. In uncertainty, his first reaction is to stop at the most respectful solution of the person of Marie. It is the reflex of a good man, with a big heart. He respects too much Marie to let her under opprobrium and reprobation of the whole village, and he respects too much the law of God, to start a family on such uncertain basis. So he goes simply, but with a heavy heart , to give to Marie her freedom back. Joseph's greatness of soul is rooted in God, and God comes to meet him : he reveals to him his design. From there the light comes : Joseph understands the silence of Marie, he grasps with a single intuition of faith what God expects from her, and what God expects from him. God, again, brings them together to insert them both in the heart of the history of salvation. She will give the Messiah his flesh and his features; he, Joseph son of David and carpenter, will be there to legally give to the Son of God a name in the royal line of David.

Maximum respect for people, docile welcome of God's initiatives: such were Joseph's reactions to the mystery of Marie's motherhood.

And that's the way it is we must in turn approach the mystery of God's action in ourselves  in others and in the world. This is how we must place ourselves, in faith, in the face of the coming of the

God's Son. The motherhood of Marie has always been wrapped in silence, as all the great works of God, and this silence that hides the incarnation of Jesus no one will ever be able to break it. Like Joseph, we must enter through the « YES of adoration » ; from today we must be with him, and contemplate the glory which God has given him, And this is how we must approach the mystery of God's action in ourselves, in others and in the world. This is the way to place ourselves, in faith, in the face of the coming of the Son of God. The motherhood of Marie has been silently enveloped since the beginning, like all the great works of God, and this silence that hides the incarnation of Jesus,  Brothers and sisters this week, seek to place us in Joseph's school to learn to constantly adjust to the imminent coming of God. Let's enter the big waiting time of Advent!

Jean Lévêque,

ocd, Province of Paris

III - Prayer of the week

You will return, Lord, to take us with you to the house of the Father where you live; you have come for us, to live among yours and to forgive all those whom you love unceasingly; come to us every day in your Eucharist, give us hope and trust, you who have only thoughts of peace for everyone. 

Send us your Spirit and pour in us your joy. You who are the Way, the Truth, the Life, brings to all hearts the taste to serve you. If suffering is there, which makes us forget you, if doubt gnaws at us and hides your love, repeat your presence, warm up friendship, restore happiness; "you come to save everything".

IV - Practice tracks for this week

The reality of Christ's return : did I really integrate this affirmation of faith ? Am I destabilized ? We must not be afraid of the end of our world. It will not be an apocalypse-catastrophe, but an apocalypse-unveiling: Jesus will reveal his glory to the Father. The Lord will return, and His mercy will have the last word.

To become fair every day : between what has already "come" from the Kingdom of Heaven and what is "not yet" accomplished, there is the daily : that is where the Lord is waiting for us. It is here and now that we must adjust to the will of God.

The love of charity is the value of my life : everything passes but charity remains. Does this certainty convert me ? A day without love is a lost day in my pilgrimage to God. Can I try this week to live by this truth ?


Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)

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Introduction : Be surprised !

Post #1First released on November 30, 2019

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6